Thursday, October 05, 2017

Review: All or Nothing (Together #3) by Felice Stevens

AllOrNothing-400x600Title ~ All or Nothing (Together #3)

Author ~ Felice Stevens 

Published ~ 28th September 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

A past he couldn’t forget
Adam Barton is living his dream of working as a firefighter in his small Texas town, but a tragedy from his youth continues to haunt him. He decides New York City is the perfect place to start a new life and joins the FDNY, living and loving his own way—no strings and nothing personal. Until he catches sight of Rico Estevez, the sexy chef with the mysterious smile who rocks his world. After one explosive night together, Adam craves another….And then another. The more he and Rico are together, the more Adam wants him.
A future he never imagined
Rico Estevez is living a lie. For years he’s hidden his sexuality, afraid to hurt the career of his politically ambitious father. He’s the perfect American―the best schools, top of his class and most importantly, to his father, a successful businessman. Who needs a boyfriend when sex is so easy to find? Starting a torrid love affair with Adam Barton isn’t a problem; neither one is looking toward forever. But Rico’s father is about to get the chance of a lifetime and Rico feels forced to play by his rules.
Rules are made to be broken
Adam proves more unforgettable than Rico ever imagines, but he gives in to family pressures above personal desire. When a fire reunites them, both men discover their passion for each other hasn’t died; rather it’s stronger than ever. Want turns to need and something more dangerous to their hearts—love. Adam and Rico know if they want to have it all, they can let no one and nothing stand in their way of a life together.

 

Debra’s Review

Finally!! I feel like it’s been so long since we first met Adam Barton in Beyond the Surface. Then he showed up again in Learning to Love where we met Gideon’s secretive friend and business partner Rico (this story definitely works as a standalone though). I always worry that my expectations are too high when I’m waiting for a particular story, but I can absolutely say it was well worth the wait for these two. Their chemistry jumps off the page from the start and I flew through this book. There is real emotion in the story and Rico and Adam are by turns sweet and super sexy – this maybe the hottest book Felice Stevens has ever written.

Since they met briefly during a fire call at the local synagogue, firefighter Adam Barton has been trying unsuccessfully to get chef/caterer Rico Estevez to notice him. It’s not that Rico hasn’t noticed the sexy red head. Dates and relationships are not Rico’s thing. Anonymous hook-ups work perfectly. He’s focused on his business and other than his family and friends, nothing else is all that important. When Adam finally corners Rico and asks him to meet up he’s surprised at his reaction. The self-assured Rico is virtually tongue-tied. After a smoking hot night, Rico runs off, but Adam won’t give up that easy. Since neither wants a relationship, but both wouldn’t mind a repeat of the night before, they come to a sex-only, just fun, no strings agreement. If you’re a regular romance reader you know how that’s going to turn out.

Adam has a past that haunts him but being with Rico calms him and he feels he can finally start to put things behind him. One particularly bad call at work however brings everything to the surface again, but he can’t really open up to Rico about what happened, even when they’re surrounded by reminders. Rico seems to understand Adam’s needs and the two share a beautiful moment together on a dance floor. I think I let out an actual sigh during that scene.

Rico is so closed off, even his best friend of many years, Gideon doesn’t know a lot about him. Rico could certainly never let his father know who he really is. It’s just easier to keep his life private. Rico’s whole life has been spent living up to his conservative father’s expectations and hopes for him. He yearns for his praise, yet realizes the only time it comes is when he succeeds in business. He just can’t find a way to let go of those expectations and allow himself to get close to someone. When it comes to Adam, Rico knows he’s screwed. He can’t stop thinking of him, he has moments of jealousy and he can see Adam being there for the long run. He realizes his father’s views aren’t going to help things and fears his rejection.

I loved both of these men, even if I did want to shake Rico a few times. Both have pain in their pasts, both hold their family close and both are getting in too deep to even pretend there isn’t more between them. Something finally has to give. Adam wears his heart on his sleeve and as much as he tries to fight it, he recognizes his feelings for Rico and soon he can’t keep quiet any longer even knowing what’s going to happen. The push and pull, the angst and the real feelings kept me reading. These two worked hard for their HEA.

Felice Stevens knocked it out of the park with this one. I couldn't put this story down. There’s plenty of sex (after all that’s what the relationship started as), angst, drama, family issues and romance. The serious moments are balanced out with fun and romance. I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a hard-won HEA with plenty of ups and downs along the way.

Purchase Links

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

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The Together Books

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Learning to Love (Together #1)

After ten years away from home, bad boy caterer Gideon Marks has a lot to prove. Getting the holiday catering job at his childhood synagogue is the first step in demonstrating to everyone he didn’t turn out to be the failure they predicted. What he doesn’t count on is Rabbi Jonah Fine, his high school nemesis and secret crush, stirring up old feelings Gideon thought long gone and secrets he’s buried deep for years.
An unexpectedly passionate encounter shocks Gideon, but he pushes Jonah away, convinced he isn’t good enough to be in a relationship and would never be accepted by Jonah’s father. But Jonah hangs tough—he won’t allow Gideon to hide or run away from life again. And when it comes to love, Gideon learns the most important lessons aren’t always taught in school.

Review :: Amazon

the way to his heartThe Way to His Heart (Together #2)

Love is going pretty well for Gideon Marks. He’s living with his boyfriend, Jonah, and his business is thriving beyond his wildest dreams. So why is he still worried he’s not enough, and all he holds dear will slip through his fingers?
Jonah Fine has everything he wants; he’s head over heels in love with Gideon and has finally stepped out from under the shadow of his father. Aware of Gideon's continuing struggle with dyslexia, Jonah tries to reassure him that they are equal partners in their relationship by making their first Valentine's Day one to remember.
Ghosts from the past reappear, sending Gideon into a tailspin. He must make the decision to either hold on to the anger he grew up with or forgive the pain he’s carried with him all his life. It will take all of Gideon's courage, Jonah's love, and a special surprise for Gideon to finally realize the one person he must learn to love is himself.
This is a brand-new, 12,000 word short story featuring a sexy chef, and a hot rabbi who needs to learn to stay out of the kitchen.

Review :: Amazon

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Meet Felice Stevens 

felice-logoI have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.

But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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